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On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated that while he doesn’t believe there’s an “exact figure” on the number of Americans still in Afghanistan, the government thinks the number is “probably in the low hundreds that are still there,” and that “there were also several hundred others that didn’t want to leave.”

Kirby said, “I don’t think there’s an exact figure, Willie. We believe we got the vast, vast majority of American citizens out, something to the tune of 6,000 of them. And we think it’s probably in the low hundreds that are still there, and there were also several hundred others that didn’t want to leave.”

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afghanistan

[VIDEO] JUST IN: Pentagon Admits US Drone Strike In Afghanistan Killed 10 Civilians And No Terrorist Targets

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Gen. Frank McKenzie speaks about a drone strike on August 29th in Kabul, Afghanistan, which the Pentagon originally said killed ISIS terrorists, but which they now acknowledge did not kill any terrorists, instead killing 10 civilians including 7 children.

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Milley defiant amid increasing pressure to resign over China calls revelations

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As the embattled Gen. Mark Milley took a defiant tone regarding reports that he surreptitiously tried to circumvent the authority of his then-commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, critics increasingly demanded his resignation while the White House offered him full support.

Milley’s alleged actions include making secret calls to the top military officer in Beijing, and holding a clandestine gathering of military officers to demand that they only obey command orders that came through Milley, according to the authors of a forthcoming book. 

The actions are described in “Peril,” by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. Milley took the unprecedented actions because he was afraid Trump might launch a nuclear strike, the authors wrote. 

Milley in a statement confirmed that the anecdotes in the book are true, but couched them as normal procedure – and signaled that he plans to remain in office.

“General Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution,” the chairman’s spokesman, Col. Dave Butler, said in a statement.

The doubling-down further alarmed critics who described his actions as dangerous. 

“We could have a nuclear war over a mistake because the general is going outside the line of command to insinuate something that nobody believes to be true, but actually could have started a war,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “So really, instead of actually calming tensions, he could have actually started an accidental war.” 

The White House on Wednesday stood up for Milley, with President Joe Biden affirming that he has ‘great confidence’ in his Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

The Pentagon supported Milley in general, but officially evaded questions about his alleged actions.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “has full trust and confidence in Chairman Milley and the job that he’s doing,” spokesman John Kirby told reporters in an afternoon briefing.

When asked to comment on specifics of the controversial incidents, Kirby waved off. 

“I’m not going to speak to unconfirmed reports from a book that we haven’t looked at and read yet, and certainly not to a conversation that took place before the administration took office,” Kirby said. “I’m not going to go there or anything.”

When pressed to address what one reporter called “a pretty serious allegation,” Kirby held firm.

“It’s not that I’m not denying it, I’m simply going to refuse to speak to two specific anecdotes that are in this book,” Kirby said. 

Elsewhere inside the Pentagon, the “Milley situation” has been Topic A, officials said.

“Everyone is talking about it, and not in a good way,” one civilian contract officer told Just the News. “People are talking about whether they should leave. They don’t want to be tarred with this mess.” 

Discussion has centered on questions about the anecdotes in the book, said one senior Pentagon official who doubted the explanation that Milley was afraid Trump would launch a nuclear attack in order to remain in office.

“If he really thought that Trump was so unstable that he was going to start a nuclear war, there was a way to address that,” the senior official told Just the News. “We have provisions for that as spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, namely that the Cabinet would remove him under the 25th Amendment. But instead of doing that, he ran his own independent operation.”

Some within the Pentagon interpret the “I’m in command” affirmation meeting as meaning Milley wanted to make sure he wasn’t being marginalized, the contract officer said.

“When Milley had the meeting with his subordinates, if you take the report at face value, he asked them if they would follow the procedure,” the officer said. “What he said to them wasn’t technically wrong. If you look at the procedure of the National Command Authority, he does have to be in the loop in any command decision in the event of war.”

At the time was meeting was held, the officer said, Milley had grown suspicious that Trump would edge him out of his position.

“I think he was trying to make sure that nobody took him out of the loop,” the officer said.

The officials are not authorized to talk to the press, and spoke on the condition that they would not be identified.

The meetings and the phone calls demonstrate a lack of judgment, according to one combat veteran who has numerous tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere.

“If true, it’s just an example of his inability to grasp not just the Constitution in this case, but also the situation in Afghanistan,” which he bungled, according to retired Army officer Jim Lechner. 

Milley’s promise to give advance warning to China of a hypothetical attack crossed the line from bungling to giving aid and comfort to the enemy, Lechner said.

“His lapse in judgment has resulted in treason,” he said.

Milley’s spokesman Butler said that Milley’s calls were acceptable standard procedure. Such calls “remain vital to improving mutual understanding of US national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict,” Butler said.

“His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” Butler said. “All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.”

Former Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, who would have led the Pentagon when Milley made the January call, said he ‘did not and would not ever authorize’ the general to have the secret calls.

Trump was not on record as having said he planned to order a nuclear strike.

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afghanistan

So, Biden Could Have Taken Out the Kabul Suicide Bomber But Didn’t?

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Everything is a mess right now. Our exit from Afghanistan was a mess. We left Americans behind. We left key Afghan allies behind. We even left service dogs behind. Our 20-year war in Afghanistan is over. It was a humiliating exit. The Taliban are back in control. We trusted them to handle security around the airport in Kabul. We’re going to trust them to run counterterror operations after we’ve left. It’s insane. We’re trusting terrorists to wipe out…terrorists. It’s a fiasco. And given that we entrusted terrorists to be Kabul’s TSA for lack of a better term, are we shocked that there was a suicide bombing that killed 12 US service members days before all our forces fled the country? The scene was chaotic. This was a perfect opportunity to launch something. As Nick Arama at RedState wrote, it seems we knew about it ahead of time. Not only that, but we could have taken out the suicide bomber, but Biden choked (via RedState):

???????? Per former Deputy Assistant SecDef Roger Pardo-Maurer, the DoD had foreknowledge of the Kabul bomber AND denied permission to fire to the Predator drone that had a lock on the bomber. pic.twitter.com/ZDh27drdwu — Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL)

August 31, 2021

Two questions everyone should be asking right now:
– For how long in advance did we have eyes on the Kabul bomber *prior* to his arrival at HKIA?
– Who issued the stand down order to the Predator drone operator that had a lock on the Kabul bomber? https://t.co/KvbxI5t8X2 — Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL)

September 1, 2021

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Pardo-Maurer dropped some incredible information during an interview and it’s huge, if true.

Director of MRC Latino, Jorge Bonilla, posted an interview of Pardo-Maurer. Pardo-Maurer, who was in the State Department for years, since at least 2001, said he was being told that the Department of Defense already knew who the bomber was ahead of time, before the bombing and when the Kabul attack would occur.

[…]

Pardo-Maurer went further in his interview. He said not only did they know where and when it would happen, but that they had a Predator drone lock on the bomber, but that “they” refused to grant permission to take the guy out. “[Permission] was requested and was denied,” he said. Why? “Because we are in this process of negotiating with the Taliban who aren’t even in control of their own government or their own people.”

So is he really saying what it sounds like he’s saying? Because it sounds like he’s saying that we had the shot to take this guy out but they were afraid of angering the Taliban if they took the shot. Yikes.

MRC Latino monitors the bias on networks like Univision and Telemundo, so they’re covering a critical front regarding media bias. Arama added that the Pentagon seemed to know that the Abbey Gate where this attack occurred was a high-risk target. We can’t say for sure because spokesman John Kirby won’t say much about it. Is this Biden’s ‘Benghazi’? We didn’t take the shot because we didn’t want to make the Taliban mad. That has been the theme since the Afghan government collapsed. And let’s not forget that Biden was AGAINST the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Dithering seems to be Joe’s thing.

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